Manpower exporters appeal to govt to revoke min wage directives

The foreign min had finalised MRWs for different nations in the Gulf and others.

The Dollar Business Bureau

The Federation of Overseas Recruitment Associations of India (FORAI) has requested the government to scrap the minimum referral wages (MRWs) directive to foreign employers as, they said, it has negatively impacted the manpower export industry.

Recently, the foreign ministry had finalised MRWs for different nations in the Gulf countries and others. The ministry also wanted the host employers to provide free accommodation, food, medical facilities, transportation and applicable overtime wages.

"Though well-intentioned, the MRWs are totally at gross variance with the ground reality in the Gulf region and it needs to be scrapped forthwith," said Forai Chairman V S Abdul Kareem.

Kareem highlighted that recruitment of Indians in the Gulf region has declined by over 50%, and the number of emigration clearances issued by India for the Gulf region has declined to 462,312 in October 2016 from 804,878 in 2014.

He noted that the government had concluded the MRWs without consulting the manpower recruiting industry, chambers of commerce and labour ministries in the host countries.There is 30-40% difference between the MRWs prescribed by India and wage structure continuing in the Gulf countries now.

"It is not clear on what basis these MRWs were determined," Kareem wondered.

He also highlighted that the MRWs and other facilities are considerably higher than the minimum wages, and local employers are against increasing them as per the MRWs determined by India.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Nov 28, 2016 12:00 IST